The imposing stone walls and unusual polygon towers of Caernarfon Castle could easily stand in for the true setting of Elsinore in Hamlet, Kronborg Castle in Denmark. Like its counterpart, Caernarfon Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, overlooking the sea.
View of Caernarfon Castle
Castell Coch near Cardiff
Llynnon Mill on the island of Anglesey is the only working windmill in Wales. A magnificent 18th Century mill making the most of the windswept island’s situation on the north- western edge of Wales, it is a match for any of the windmills in Holland.
Llynnon Mill on the island of Anglesey
The Snowdon Mountain Railway is a bucket list favourite, but did you know that the steam engine has a twin sister? Built over 100 years ago in the same factory, a Swiss locomotive is also still in operation. In 2018, the long-lost twins were reunited briefly when the Swiss locomotive paid a visit to Snowdonia.
The Snowdon Mountain Railway
Portmeirion is perhaps the most famous Italian town outside Italy. The colourful Italianate architecture and playful public spaces make it utterly unlike anywhere else among the slate mountains of Snowdonia.
Portmeirion, an Italian style town in Wales!
Don’t travel to the ends of the earth to sea the night sky in all its awesome beauty. The Brecon Beacons in South Wales have International Dark Sky Reserve status. Visit in winter, when the nights are longer, and you may even see the Northern Lights beyond the snow-capped mountain peaks.
View of the nightsky
No need to film in New Zealand, when the most picturesque parts of Middle Earth are right here in Wales. The beautiful Llyn Padarn in Snowdonia, with its glacial waters, mountain backdrop and lone tree, might easily have been on Bilbo Baggins journey, There and Back Again.
Llyn Padarn in Snowdonia
We don’t tend to associate Wales with vineyards but there are a hardy handful and their numbers are growing. Pant Du Vineyard on the southern slopes of the Nantlle Valley in Snowdonia, layers up the French feel with orchards too, evoking the rustic landscape of Normandy.
Pant Du Vineyard in Snowdonia
In the right light, on a hot day, if you squint your eyes, the golden sands of Harlech Beach might just take on the heavenly aura of a sun-soaked Caribbean beach.
View of Harlech Beach
The last stop on our world tour is Hay-on-Wye on the South Wales border with England. And what has this little book town got to do with the far-off city of Timbuktu in Mali? Well, back in 2007, Timbuktu chose Hay-on-Wye as its twin town. Visit during the Hay Walking Festival from 10-13 October and take the Timbuktu Trail, which highlights the similarities and differences between the two towns.
As you can see, some of the best holiday destinations in Wales are world-class! For your real-life world tour of Wales, stay in a woodland cabin, complete with hot tub, at Beddgelert in Snowdonia, or at Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire which is close to the Welsh border and just an hour from the historic city sights of Cardiff.
The twin town of Timbuktu